31 January 2024

Rainfall in 2023

As usual, once a year, we analyse the annual rainfall data for our area and prepare this report to show the results to all of you. These data are very located (La Alberca de Záncara - Cuenca), but we think that the precipitation pattern could be applicable to the central area of Spain (the northern and southern zones have considerably more rainfall throughout the year).

Looking at the amount of rainfall throughout the year (495mm), who would thought it was a disastrous harvest year? This year has indeed been the worst we have experienced as farmers (we remember 1995 and 2005, when there was also a drought). Nonetheless, this year 2023 has been catastrophic for the countryside, especially in the central region of the peninsula. And it is true that the quantity is much higher than last year (a year when cereal and pulse crops were also poor)... and as we have been saying for some years now, rainfall patterns are worse and worse. This time, the rainfall couldn't have been worse, since the bulk of it occurred in the last days of May and June, when the harvest was already lost, and in September, when we hadn't even started with the 2023-2024 campaign.

The rains in June spoiled what little harvest there was, causing the few little grains to fall to the ground and weeds to sprout quickly (we had to till the harvested fields with the disc harrows because with the cultivator it was practically impossible). As for the intense rains in September, they couldn't have done more damage to the field due to the large torrential downpours they generated... water that, instead of benefiting, destroyed the soil, uprooted woody crops and was lost without proper use.

If we focus on rainfall by season, this time spring was the rainiest period (195 mm), and winter practically did not register any precipitation... this was one of the key factors for the almost total loss of the crop.

For some years now, the climate has been becoming a serious problem for extensive rainfed crops. It seems that the annual rainfall pattern (long periods of drought and torrential rains), fits better with woody crops, which are able to take store more water when it rains and withstand drought better.

Versión en español.

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